Essentially, Cavernous Hemangomia is a deformity or irregularity of the blood vessels sometimes also named Cerebral Cavernous Malformation or CMM when occurring in the brain or Cavernous Angioma or just simply, Cavernoma. Two key factors arise from this. Blood flow is weakened or disrupted due to simple blockage and tumours may form. Cavernous Hemangioma may exist almost anywhere in the body and that impact is largely dictated by location.
What does Cavernous Hemangioma look like?
They are like little berries; the name comes from the word cavern. Cavernous Hemangioma creates a single or cluster of bubbles within the vessel and these caves fill up with blood hence their appearance, similar to blackcurrants. They are pretty unmistakeable if external on the body, internally the patient may not even be aware of them unless they are sited in a location causing pain, pressure or disrupting systemic and physiological function.
Cavernous Hemangioma can be miniature or quite large, up to several inches wide. Stats suggest one in two hundred people have a Cavernous Angioma. Take a look at these pictures of Cavernous Hemangioma illustrating varying sites on the body and different cases.
What causes Cavernous Hemangioma?
Cavernous Hemangioma can appear at birth, described as congenital or may develop later in life. They can form alongside other vascular abnormalities within the veins.
Are there any symptoms associated with Cavernous Hemangioma?
Sometimes no, dependent on location. However, if Cavernous Hemangioma occurs in the brain or the spinal column described as atypical spine. They may cause pressure, bleeds, headaches, seizures or epileptic episodes and transient stroke-like reactions. Balance, limb co-ordination or vision can be impacted. On occasion, they are discovered by accident but many on the brain or spinal cord induce difficulties and functional compromise sufficient to refer an individual for specialist investigation.
Can you define a Capillary Hemangioma?
This is something you may have witnessed in your life as the other name for a Capillary Hemangioma is a strawberry birthmark. Capillaries are the smallest of the blood vessels in the human body. A Capillary Hemangioma is an overgrowth of these which cluster together. It is classed as a tumour but is benign, so non-cancerous. Usually affecting infants, they are not present at birth but develop within the first few weeks before shrinking and ultimately disappearing by the time the child is five or six years old. For some reason, girls seem to be at risk of these then boys and also babies which are premature.
Do they treat Capillary Hemangioma?
Any form of physical abnormality is hugely distressing to a new parent. Time usually resolves these but they can cause problems dependent on location and there are treatment options available.
Therapeutic choices depend on the size and location of the Capillary Hemangioma. Propranolol is a medication of choice, either applied topically or ingested orally. Sometimes this is administered under the control of hospital conditions as it can affect blood pressure and heart performance. Steroids are another possibility, they can be injected straight into the hemangioma as well.
There are noted side effects with this course of action particularly concerning in tiny children. Laser therapy can retard the development of the hemangioma and reduces the colour intensity causing some fade. Capillary hemangiomas around the eye are often surgically removed as they can cause problems with vision. The ocular location seems popular for Capillary Hemangioma as these illustrations from the American Association for Paediatric Opthalmology and Solutions – AAPOS – exhibit.
I have been diagnosed with hepatic hemangioma, what is it?
This is hemangioma in the liver, hence the title, hepatic. It presents as a mass and sparks fear because of a possible association with cancer. However, hepatic hemangioma is not cancerous, think of it as a design fault, a conglomeration of malformed and dilated blood vessels which create a lump. It is the most common non-cancerous liver mass and is more prevalent in females than males. The most populist age range to develop these is age 30 to 50 although there is an infantile equivalent called hemangioendothelioma. A hepatic hemangioma may be entirely silent and are often uncovered following a scan for a wholly unrelated purpose.
What is the cure, if any?
A hepatic hemangioma that is not proving troublesome or bleeding is left untouched but monitored for growth or any adverse reactions such as pain or discomfort. The liver is an amazingly resilient organ and can function adequately with huge losses of tissue so a hepatic hemangioma should not cause impairment. Bulky hemangiomas can lead to feelings of nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting and surgical removal is an option. Surgeons can also perform an intervention which ties off the blood supply to the hemangioma thus inhibiting its growth and thus any adverse side effects.
Hepatic hemangiomas are more prevalent in the ladies because it is believed they may respond to estrogen increasing in size during pregnancy. The use of ultrasonography to check on baby means these are easy to spot. Those with a diagnosed hepatic hemangioma who conceive need appropriate support from a specialist. Birth control pills and Hormone Replacement Therapy both of which contain synthetic estrogen also need careful debate and consideration if the user has a hepatic hemangioma.
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